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Facebook Allowed Netflix and Spotify to Read Your ‘Private’ Messages

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If you thought that your chats on Facebook were private, think again.

The Silicon Valley tech giant, which views its users only as collectors of data to be sold to third parties, was caught doing just that, according to a Tuesday New York Times report.

“Facebook allowed Microsoft’s Bing search engine to see the names of virtually all Facebook users’ friends without consent, the records show, and gave Netflix and Spotify the ability to read Facebook users’ private messages,” the report said.

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Despite Facebook founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s April testimony to Congress that Facebook had implemented strict privacy protections for its users, it continued to allow third party applications to access the data of those same users.

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“In all, the deals described in the documents benefited more than 150 companies — most of them tech businesses, including online retailers and entertainment sites, but also automakers and media organizations,” the report said. “Their applications sought the data of hundreds of millions of people a month, the records show. The deals, the oldest of which date to 2010, were all active in 2017. Some were still in effect this year.”

Facebook has been embroiled in privacy scandals for the past two years. Just last week, Big League Politics reported that Facebook leaked millions its users’ of photos to third parties. In April, Facebook faced a huge amount of backlash after the public found out that 87 million accounts had been compromised by Cambridge Analytica, a data mining firm.

In 2015, the tech giant faced a similar scandal when third party applications downloaded by a users were sucking data from that user’s Facebook friends.


Follow Peter D’Abrosca on Twitter: @pdabrosca

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Twitter Suspending Bloomberg Bots for Coordinated Fake Engagement

The Bloomberg campaign is taking a page from the strategy of supposed Russian bots.

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Twitter began suspending more than 70 pro-Michael Bloomberg accounts from its platform on Friday, citing supposed inauthentic and coordinated behavior.

The platform was alerted to the suspicious behavior by the Los Angeles Times, and shortly after began suspending the accounts.

The reports of the Bloomberg bots are reminiscent of the claims of Russian bots waging influence campaigns in U.S elections. Both operations apparently involve scripted messaging, fake political engagement, and platform manipulation.

Evidence of identical messaging being spread by dubious pro-Bloomberg accounts was published by the Los Angeles Times in their report on the matter Friday.

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A statement from Twitter on the suspensions confirmed the Bloomberg shill accounts violated the platform’s rules by “creating multiple accounts to post duplicative content” and “coordinating with or compensating others to engage in artificial engagement or amplification, even if the people involved use only one account.

The accounts avoid direct connections to the Bloomberg campaign, in an attempt to avoid being identified as coordinated shill accounts.

Bloomberg is paying a considerable cohort of “deputy field organizers” $2,500 a month to shill for the New York oligarch on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. The messaging strategy is relatively unprecedented in American politics, offering cash directly for a constant stream of political messaging on personal social media accounts.

The Bloomberg campaign claims that paid deputy field organizers are required to identify their affiliation with the campaign in a statement regarding the suspensions. As Bloomberg’s online social media strategy copies a page from the book of supposed malicious Russian bots, high-ranking U.S intelligence community personnel are claiming that the Russian bots are active once again in attempts to promote the campaigns of both Bernie Sanders and President Donald Trump.

 

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